Edgin, Larcenous Lutenist
30, Mar, 23

Novelty MTG Secret Lair Cards Are Causing Outrage!

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Since being introduced in 2019, Secret Lair drops have been harmless fun for MTG players. Reprinting fan-favorite cards with new and wacky art treatments, these drops have delighted interested players without troubling anyone else. For the most part, at least. Unfortunately, while the majority of Secret Lair drops have been harmless, a few past releases have been somewhat problematic. As raunchy as it was, we’re not talking about Stonecoil Serpent’s extra serpent here, but rather, the troubling launch of Universes Beyond. 

Starting with The Walking Dead crossover drop in 2020, Universes Beyond cards were initially ultra-exclusive limited-time offerings. In theory, this shouldn’t have been a problem, as traditional Secret Lairs utilized the same limited-time drop model with no problem. In reality, however, since the Universes Beyond cards were mechanically unique, not reprints, players were enraged by this sales model. Following extensive criticisms, Wizards of the Coast eventually promised to print in-universe (Universes Within) versions of the crossover cards. Thankfully, this decision mitigated players’ concerns, allowing Universes Beyond to go on to flourish. That is, until recently, when concerns flared up once again. 

Secret Lair x Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Secret Lair Cards
Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Secret Lair

Last week, an unfortunate slip-up from WotC’s Singapore division accidentally leaked the existence of a new Universes Beyond Secret Lair. As you might expect, given the subheading, that Secret Lair was a crossover with the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie. At first, despite the crossover cards featuring the likenesses of famous actors and actresses, players weren’t all too concerned. Rather than kicking up a fuss about Hugh Grant being on an MTG card, players instead enthused about the mechanics. For instance, many players were deeply excited by Edgin, Larcenous Lutenist, as they’re the perfect Fortell commander.

While the mechanics of the Honor Among Thieves cards excited players, unsurprisingly, the art wasn’t for everyone. He might be a national treasure in the UK, but not everyone wants to have Hugh Grant staring them in the face for every Commander game. Thankfully, when first leaked, players expected Wizards to keep up with their promise for Universes Within reprints after six months. Subsequently, even those who hated the art were able to get excited about these cards in the future. Unfortunately, while this was the expectation from players following the leak, now the Secret Lair drop has been revealed, it appears that’s not the case. 

Universes Beyond Stays Beyond

Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Secret Lair Cards

Earlier this week, Wizards officially unveiled the Honor Among Thieves Secret Lair across social media. Given that players had seen all the cards last week, there wasn’t much fanfare around this release. After all, surely there wouldn’t be any more information to care about beyond the $39.99 price tag. For better or worse, that wasn’t the case, as an accompanying Polygon article featured quite the bombshell reveal. Speaking with WotC’s Senior Creative Director of Franchise Development, Jeremy Jarvis, Polygon revealed that contrary to expectations, this Universes Beyond Secret Lair won’t be getting a Universes Within release. Explaining this decision, Jarvis stated, “never say never, but these cards are very specific to these characters and this moment in time.” 

As you can imagine, considering the outrage that The Walking Dead Secret Lair Drop caused, players weren’t happy about this news. Taking to social media, countless Reddit users voiced their complaints against Wizards and this sales tactic. Reddit user u/Dogsy, for instance, chanted “FOMO” repeatedly, while u/KnifeChrist suspected Wizards was being malicious. “Hell yeah, WotC. Pump the value before releasing your plans to make the Universes Within printing… AFTER you’ve made money off the assumption by most that there will never be a Universes Within printing.” Currently, it’s unclear if Wizards is deliberately trying to create a sense of FOMO. One thing is for sure, however, players aren’t happy. 

“This is really strange since the biggest problem with the Walking Dead Secret Lairs wasn’t being Universes Beyond but that mechanically unique cards are being sold in such a limited way. I’d much rather in-universe versions exist, but if the only way to get these cards is going to be the Secret Lair that is absolutely unacceptable. I thought Wizards realized this. The UB cards that are being mass-released don’t have in-universe versions for this reason, they don’t have availability issues. I’d rather wait until we have an official word before I start complaining to Wizards people, but sigh… Here we go again.”


While many players were understandably outraged that Wizards were going back on their word, surprisingly, not everyone was so worried. For instance, some players, such as u/serialrobinson, weren’t concerned these cards wouldn’t be reprinted. Instead, it was suggested that when Wizards does reprint these cards, there simply won’t be Universes Within versions. Whether or not that’s the case, however, remains to be seen. 

“I don’t think this means they will never reprint these cards, just that if they do it, they won’t bother to make “in-universe” versions. There’s nothing in their statement that says they will never reprint these cards or make them otherwise available, just that they won’t be getting a Universes Within version. Universes Within exists so that they have an avenue to reprint cards that they don’t own the IP for. This is D&D, they own D&D. They don’t need to make separate versions in order to reprint them”


Secret Lair Shipping Shenanigans

Li’l’ler Walkers
Li’l’ler Walkers Secret Lair | HasbroCon 2022

Unfortunately, the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Secret Lair hasn’t been the only one causing problems recently. Initially sold all the way back in October of 2022, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair has been consistently troubling players. At the start of 2023, when players were starting to expect deliveries, Wizards sadly revealed this product had been delayed. At the time, a one-month delay didn’t seem too bad, however, it wasn’t long before things got worse. In February and then March, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair would be delayed again and again. This pattern was seriously concerning for players who remembered the Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Secret Lair delay debacle. Thankfully, however, there is hope on the horizon. 

According to Reddit user u/harbruin, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair is finally being shipped. Considering this is one of the cutest Secret Lairs ever released, you may expect players to rejoice at this news. In reality, however, u/harbruin and many others were fed up with how long it’s taken. Thankfully, while a six-month delay is obviously concerning, it’s hardly the norm for Secret Lairs. In fact, recently, Wizards has been dramatically improving their shipping process. So much so, that it now takes weeks rather than months for a product to be delivered. Subsequently, hopefully, players who purchase the Secret Lair x Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves won’t be burdened with an unnecessary wait. 

Read More: Gorgeous March of the Machine Reprints Could Cost $1000+!

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